Melenchon proposes French colonies join ALBA

French Guiana, in South America, and the French West Indies, in the Caribbean, could join the anti-imperialist Bolivarian Alliance for the People’s of Our America (ALBA), if left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon were to win France’s presidential election.

ALBA was founded by Venezuela and Cuba in 2004 as an alternative to neoliberal free trade agreements, and now includes 11 Latin American and Caribbean nations.

According to its founding document, “the cardinal principle that should guide the ALBA is the widest solidarity between the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.”

As such, trade between members is done at preferential, non-market rates and payment can be made through goods as well as currency over a period of time at lower-than-market interest rates. It also developed health and literacy programs, support for environmental disasters, among other initiatives.

Melenchon was experiencing a late surge ahead of the first round in France’s presidential race on April 23, raising the prospect he could make it to the May 7 run-off.

The leftist candidate also wishes to leave NATO and renegotiate European treaties.

He told TF1 TV channel: “ALBA is an organisation for cooperation, I support the fact that the French overseas territories, especially in the Caribbean, would be included in the regional economy.”

[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]